I like the birds for many reasons. First, they don’t have petty egos. Individual members are never placed above the good of the species. There are clearly defined rules of engagement & cooperation with birds. The pecking order is always respected, and if a member gets out-of-line, they get clipped by an alpha. And when the fight is over, everything is back to normal, with no grudges. Muscovies, mallards, mockingbirds, cardinals, and even a red-headed woodpecker peacefully share this feeding area I’ve established. That’s what can be learned from this photo above.
But this poster (above) bothers me, and I’ll explain, since it’s complicated. I’m not the biggest Drivin N’ Cryin fan, but I’d like to see them, because I like a few of their songs & respect them. They fit in with the BoDeans, Connells, Soundgarden, etc, back in the day of “120 Minutes” on MTV, when “Honeysuckle Blue” broke them into college rock.
Drivin N’ Cryin played in Sanford, at West End Trading Co about 3 years ago. I saw the flier the night of the show, it was $18. I had at least a twenty, but decided against it, because I was tired and it was already late as the opening band was still onstage. As I said, I’m not a HUGE fan, but I also knew I missed an opportunity to see a name band and judge for myself.
So now they’re coming around again, so I gotta go, right? This venue is about a mile from where I live, so I’ll walk downtown, as usual. This is to be an outdoor show on Sunday at 1:00 PM, and the weather forecast is 80 degrees & sunny. Here’s the thing, the venue is trying to sell tickets for the event! In this era of coronavirus, where smart people want to be socially distanced, these owners think they can get people to pay $7-20 to pack-in close to the outdoor stage. I promise you that Drivin N’ Cryin will have stack amps & a monster PA system that will be heard distinctly for hundreds of yards in all directions. These are the kind of promoters who wanted to charge patrons for Woodstock.
And finally there’s the Saturday line-up. A veritable who’s who of Orlando-area musical gatekeepers, gathering & reforming old projects to make themselves look new again. It’s a tired act, I must say. I may stop by to see a few familiar faces, who like to pretend they never worked on Electrified!, and refuse to respect the album. To me, these are overinflated musical egos mixing with rotten politics. I don’t kiss that ass because I’m WAY too good for that, and besides, it’s toxic. It’s up to them to come around, and show some respect for a change, otherwise I mostly ignore them.
It’s not like the good old days when you could call up some friends and say, “Hey let’s go see a cool band!” There are no cool bands anymore. Corporate has killed the growth of new ones, while commodifying all the old ones by the mid-2000’s. Who are the great rock bands of the 21st century? Coldplay? Wilco? Please.
It takes will & perseverance, along with talent, to keep a good band together– and a little luck doesn’t hurt either. Every member has to be committed to the cause, whatever it is, whether it’s to be artistic or commercial, or some kind of hybrid.
It’s hard to write original music that grabs the kids, and hold everything together under the pressure of making money, when the only way a band/artist is allowed to perform is by being corporate. This means blandish, non-inflammatory originals, with traditional covers for all the genres. That’s the way it is everywhere.
Things have gotten far too complicated with rock music. Too much of it doesn’t really rock. Too many old folks unwilling to give it up, are sucking-up all the money, media & venues for themselves & their cronies. This is a venue system which encourages mediocrity, and seeks to exclude anything exceptional, which will reveal them as phonies. When people wonder why rock ain’t what it used be, THIS is why?
I’m beyond heckling (which I’m aces at) for all these Saturday acts. As soon as you see me yawning, it’s getting time for me to go. I can’t stay awake for weak stuff anymore. All this is taken by them as a great affront, when they are the ones boring everybody to tears. Like I said, it’s not easy going to these local shows anymore. They aren’t fun. Everything lacks originality and/or energy.
As long as artists such as myself are blacklisted, this musical suckitude will continue. This is by design, with bitter politics keeping fans away from artists with revolutionary meaning & youthful energy.
Monday Morning Coming Down: April 19, 2021 11:30 AM EDT
Drivin ‘N’ Cryin is an underrated band– strong songs, lots of energy & tight. But my favorite moment at their Sanford show yesterday, was beforehand. The guitar & bass players were both standing off-stage to the left where I was watching, about 15 feet away.
Some 40-ish floozy had been strutting around the crowd all afternoon. When Kevin Kinney finally came out of his van and started making his way to the stage, she runs up to him and screams with open arms “Kevin!” After a few minutes of strange exchange she walks back towards the crowd.
I turn my eyes onto her as she passes, then say out loud to the guitarist & bassist, “Those groupie reunions are always awkward moments.” Then I say in my best girlie voice, “Remember me, we slept together 20 years ago!” I laughed so loud at them, that they both ducked behind the stage to talk it over with Kevin. Rock & roll, baby